Doctors urge vaccines are safe and crucial as school begins

Doctors urge vaccines are safe and crucial as school begins

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Doctors nationwide are urging parents to observe National Immunization Month. It's no coincidence it covers nearly every first day for school districts.

Covenant Health Pediatrician Jeremy Dalton said most of these diseases are preventable through routine shots. The goal is to reach what he calls "herd immunity" or mass resistance.

"With school, they're going to get exposed to lots of different kids and that's how illnesses spread," Dalton said. "In order for herd immunity to be effective about 93 to 95 percent of kids need to be vaccinated." 

The state of Texas requires seven different vaccinations throughout grade school. Five before the student even gets to kindergarten. The state does offer parents medical or conscientious exemptions. Some parents are taking advantage of the exemption after reading and hearing about past studies over immunization risks.
"There's been certain anti-vaccers since vaccines been in existence," Dalton explained. "The most recent trigger was a study by a man named Andrew Wakefield."
In 1998 the British researcher published a study in the lancet journal stating that the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine caused autism.

The study looked at 12 children, and quickly caught the worlds attention.
"That studies been refuted," Dalton said "The Lancet withdrew the paper because they felt like it was falsified information. Dr. Wakefield has lost his medical license in Great Britain." 

Unless there's a medical reason, Dalton says vaccinations are safe. "There's been a lot of studies about vaccines that have proven their safety, proven their ethics." 

There's affordable and free options for parents and children needing those shots. The City of Lubbock Health Department provides vaccines to uninsured and under-insured families, or kids with chip and medicaid. Katherine wells with the health department said it is easy to forget how easy a break-out can occur since these required vaccines have prevented them for more than 30 years.

"It's a great service we can provide and to help parents, we're having clinic every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the month of August," Wells said. "Now we're so use to it, kids don't get sick like that, we kind of forget that it's the importance of having those vaccines." 

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